Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Serious assaults in NZ disturbingly high: Otago research

OU Media Release

EMBARGOED until 1201am Friday 12 October 2012

Serious assaults in NZ disturbingly high: Otago research

University of Otago researchers have found that serious assaults in New Zealand have been steadily rising and are now at disturbingly high levels, especially among young males, Maori and Pacific people, and those from deprived neighbourhoods.

Lead author Emeritus Professor John Langley, of the University of Otago’s Injury Prevention Research Unit, says this new study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) today (Friday), is the first comprehensive statistical analysis of this category of violence in over two decades.

It throws into serious doubt judicial and Police statistical claims in recent years that New Zealand is becoming a less violent society.

“It also brings into focus the need for the Government to effectively tackle the alcohol issue if it wants to significantly reduce serious assaults,” he says.

Professor Langley, and University of Otago co-author Dr Pauline Gulliver, found that in New Zealand between 2000 and 2009 there were 8006 serious non-fatal assaults – 76% of these were male victims (6335). The female serious assaults totalled 1671.

Averaged out, the annual rate of serious assault is around 800 (79% of these males) a year – which is roughly two-thirds of the same serious injury category for road crashes.

To be included in the “serious assault” category, the victim had a 6% or worse chance of dying as result of their injuries.

Among women, the serious assault level had fluctuated up and down over the nine-year period, but for males, particularly in the 15-to-24 age group, the numbers had risen particularly dramatically between 2004 and 2009.

Bodily force was the most common method of injury (nearly half of the serious assault cases for women, and 45% of the male cases), followed by use of a blunt object. The third most prominent cause of serious injury was a sharp object or knife.

By far the majority of serious assaults for males (1397) where the location of the event was known occurred on the streets and highways, closely followed by the male’s home (1188), followed by a trade or service area (583). For females, the majority of serious assaults, 855, took place in the home, with 156 on the streets and 58 in a trade or service area. Head injury accounted for 72.6% of all serous non-fatal injuries, and the 8006 incidents required a total of 35, 186 hospital bed-days.

Maori accounted for almost half (48%) of female serious non-fatal assaults, and one-third (32%) of males in the same category. Pacific Island people also featured prominently among the male victim statistics, having a rate only slightly lower than Maori males. The study also showed that if you lived in a deprived household or neighbourhood, your risk of serious assault was much higher.

“This study provides new and recent insights into serious non-fatal assaultive hospitalisations. The trends we have observed are concerning, especially since there is no evidence of any recent abatement. This raises questions about our efforts to reduce such harm,” he writes in the NZMJ.

The last study to examine non-fatal assault was published in 1995, and looked at assaults resulting from hospital admission between 1979 and 1988. That study also identified males, particularly Maori, as being of elevated risk of assault, with bodily force the most common method of injury.

Professor Langley points out that a large proportion of serious assaults involve young to middle-age males assaulting similarly aged males. Despite this, historically the prevention focus has been on domestic violence.

“While this mismatch between the burden and prevention is starting to be addressed, I question the adequacy of our prevention responses,” he says.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a common causal factor in many assault incidents. Professor Langley argues there is sufficient evidence base which shows that reduced alcohol advertising, and higher taxes on alcohol are likely to have a significant and relatively rapid effect on assaults. He is concerned that the Government has so far indicated it does not intend pursuing these strategies.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party.

In scenario one, Cunliffe could resign immediately and trigger a leadership vote among the caucus, the party membership and unions affiliates. This would be a high risk gambit in that it would pre-empt any review of the Labour election campaign and would be likely to open up new divisions.

While one can safely predict the caucus would vote against Cunliffe, the wider party and union response would be unpredictable, given that Cunliffe (ineptly) ran a centrist neo-Goff/Shearer campaign this year and not the left wing campaign that those who voted him into the leadership were expecting him to pursue. More>>

 

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Images & Report: Mihi To Welcome Newly-Elected MPs To Parliament

The 29 newly elected MPs were welcomed into Parliament with a Mihi. Parliament’s current Speaker David Carter offered advice from his experience working in Parliament advising the MPs to work collaboratively. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news